Rio de Janeiro Olympics silver medalist and world champion PV Sindhu is always looking for new ways to improve her skills and fitness. The latest, in a series of measures, is her visit to London. An eight-week stint in London will entail what she needs to do to improve on her recovery at a private lab run by Gatorade first and then also playing there. Gatorade lab is reckoned to be a modern sports institute, where top athletes undergo various tests to see how their body behaves after a tough match and what needs to be done to get the juices flowing again. It is well known that Sindhu, who keeps slogging on her fitness and speed will also use the opportunity to play in London with top guns.
In an exclusive chat with LokMarg, Sindhu shares her thoughts on how life was since outbreak of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown thereafter. She has faced tough times with the media in Hyderabad, her hometown, as well, but is now used to it.
How did you spend time after the lockdown was announced?
Well, it was fine, I was still training from home and then I looked at ways to keep myself busy. I spent time playing with my nephew (sister’s son) and the family. I managed to do a lot of new things like keeping myself busy learning to cook and painting. I did not get bored really during lockdown. Of course, there was no badminton (tournaments) obviously.
How did you resume training? And was it tough to find your rhythm back after the forced lockdown?
Well, as I was training during lockdown from home, so it was not tough for me. It took me a few weeks (to get the feel) when we got back to the courts. But for me, it was not like begin from the start really.
Definitely, when you are away from badminton and you do not connect with the shuttle, it will take time. I think for me getting the rhythm back was easier.
And did the lockdown affect your fitness regime?
In the lockdown, I had my trainer giving me the set of drills (schedule) to follow. Morning I was busy on court. I had my fitness drills in the morning, and evening was different. I had my workout in the gym, focused on my fitness and speed. Most important was to keep working out hard.
And your diet plan?
Well, diet, I eat rice, so I continue with it. I avoided junk food and did not eat much of oily food. For me, recovery is very, very important. As I also have my personal physio, I was stretching out which is very important to ensure I remained fit. When I needed treatment from the physio, they were there. I have to stay in peak shape.
Any the key areas of learning in your sport?
Well, as regards key areas, I want to focus on every aspect. This is the time to learn more strokes and I want to learn everything new possible. There are no tournaments immediately for me so it is a good time to keep learning strokes and keep improving. I have so much time, so there is nothing wrong in learning.
Your thoughts on the postponed Tokyo Olympics?
Well, the Tokyo Olympics, I hope to do well. We have tournaments before that in 2021. I am hopeful I will do well and one at a time is my mantra.
How did you deal with Covid-19 during the peak as an athlete?
I have been taking of myself care during Covid-19 and even now. Every individual should do that, in fact. Wear a mask, use sanitiser and maintain social distancing. In my case, when I returned home, I always washed and showered.
Please tell us about the role of your parents in your life?
My parents have always supported me in my life. They have helped me and supported me all along. I am lucky as they were both sportspersons, they know what best I need.
Your thoughts, looking ahead?
I do hope Covid 19 goes away and all the people can lead normal lives. For athletes, being on court is so important. I would say all people need to enjoy sport. It was tough during the pandemic as all the events got cancelled.
I think it is very important for all of us to stay positive. I am sure normalcy will return and we all need to be positive in our lives every single day.